At age two my mom found me sitting on top of the refrigerator raiding the cookie cupboard. The next day she signed me up for gymnastics and I have been in love ever since. From ages 2-13 I was involved in artistic gymnastics, competed for six years, and was lucky enough to have a coach that was passionate about the sport. The day I decided to move on from gymnastics my coach said “If you ever decide you want to come back, we’d be happy to have you.” His positive and nurturing attitude has stuck with me all my life and served as a great example of the powerful role a coach can have in a person’s life.
I later joined a local, non-profit circus troupe and learned to be a “flyer”, thus further developing my enjoyment of movement for the sake of creativity and play. During my time in the circus I also competed in power tumbling at the elite level. Through this I got my first start as a coach, teaching summer circus camp. Each week campers would learn to juggle, ride unicycles, walk the high wire, climb ropes, tumble, walk on stilts, and perform acrobatics. The fun of this summer job then led me to a gymnastics-coaching career that spanned 15 years. I have coached ages 18 months to twenty-two years in both recreational classes and competitive teams, with many of my athletes competing in state, regional and national competitions.
My coaching experience also inspired me to obtain a multiple-subject teaching credential from Chico State University. I then spent three years working as a K-12 substitute teacher, but always had at least a few hours of coaching to look forward to in the evening. Eventually I decided to purse coaching over teaching school.
Three years ago, a childhood friend of mine from artistic gymnastics started doing something called CrossFit and told me said it was a lot like gymnastics for adults and that I would really like it. With CrossFit Santa Cruz only two miles from my house I decided to try it. Much like my experiences with other sports, I got lucky, as I walked in the door, was introduced to a knowledgeable and positive coaching staff, and haven’t looked back. Little by little, I started sharing my knowledge of gymnastics with my new CrossFit family while I absorbed everything I could about CrossFit. Many of the lessons I had learned in gymnastics carried over into CrossFit, and I suddenly found myself in love with a new sport.
As a coach, I enjoy working with entry-level athletes because they have everything in the world to discover about CrossFit. I apply the positive coaching methods I enjoyed as a young athlete to my CrossFit coaching style.